Ipswich 1 Bolton 0: Jay Tabb scores late winner for Tractor Boys
Last Updated: 18/03/15 5:25pm
Play-off chasing Ipswich secured a crucial 1-0 Championship victory in a battling performance against Bolton.
Midfielder Jay Tabb earned Ipswich their first win in five matches after a dour match at Portman Road that seemed destined to end goalless.
Bolton, who have not won away for two months, were guilty of missing some golden chances through impressive debutant Rochinha and Craig Davies in the final minute.
A cagey opening saw away midfielder Giles Coke test the palms of Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski from 25 yards before Ipswich should have taken the lead after 15 minutes.
Tim Ream dithered on the ball, allowing Freddie Sears to streak away but his shot was well parried by Bolton keeper Ben Amos.
A poor opening to the game almost lit up when a lung-busting run by Tyrone Mings saw him feed Sears with the left-back almost capping the move but he was unable to direct the resulting cross goalwards.
The game was livening up with Tommy Smith unable to prod the ball home from close range after a powerful header from defensive partner Christophe Berra.
At the other end, Eidur Gudjohnsen should have scored when Josh Vela teed him up but the striker hit the grounded Berra before Jonathan Parr cleared off the line as Ream's scuffed shot was heading goalwards.
It was the visitors who should have broken the deadlock five minutes before the interval.
The impressive Rochinha broke clear of Luke Chambers and Smith, playing a neat one-two with Davies, but could only push the ball past the far post when clean through.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half mirrored the first half with chances at a premium, Chambers scuffing a 20-yard effort wide of the near post the best of them.
On the hour mark, Cole Skuse came close to his first ever Ipswich goal after a neat control and volley that looped just inches over Amos' crossbar.
Within minutes, the midfielder had gone even closer. Skuse's 25-yard shot cannoned back off a post and then his follow-up rebound was well held by the diving Amos.
The home side continued to push for that elusive goal with top scorer Daryl Murphy firing wide from distance while Davies had his shouts for a penalty for the visitors waved away after going down under pressure from Berra.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 79th minute when Murphy's cross was only half-cleared and Tabb's shot into the ground found its way past Amos.
Substitute Kevin Bru fired a fizzing drive just wide from 20 yards before Ipswich hearts were in their mouths as Davies met Ream's cross but somehow headed the gilt-edged chance wide in the final minute.